A weekend in the Dingle, a damp drive and exciting lichen

We woke to a drizzle the day after our 'Tom Crean experience'. We had not enlisted for the Tom Crean 19 mile endurance walk, and luckily that was sold out anyway, and given the weather would not have been pleasant by any yardstick. Instead we did what any old codger would do under the circumstances and go for a drive.
The Slea Head Drive to be more precise and part of what the Dingle tourist board call the 'Wild Atlantic Way'. Wet and wild that particular Saturday. It is manners to drive clockwise around this circular route as the road is very narrow and cars coming the other way, as a couple did, cause all the traffic to snarl up.
We started in Dingle where we stopped briefly by the harbour, before continuing until we shortly came to a museum. It was a private, commercial sort of venture, run by an American and called the Celtic and Prehistory Museum. And it was actually very interesting, containing some animal skeletons and stone axes and other such artefacts. There was a wooly mammoth skull and a cave bear skeleton, housed in an old school building and all quite quirky ... and dry.

From there we followed the road round until we came to an iron age fort, facing out towards the Atlantic on a particularly bleak headland. The fort consisted of low, reconstructed walls but what Howard drew my attention to was fascinating. Parts of the walls were covered with colonies of white lichen and each colony had a defined edge as if there was some chemical barrier stopping the colonies from crossing into each other's territory. By this time the drizzle had fully fledged to rain.

We went past some lovely views going north towards Slea Head, and stopping by the headland itself I was surprised to see a large group of canna lilies growing wild. Vaughan and I walked a little way over the footpath while the others sheltered in the car. The large car park was busy with coaches, but not many were venturing out. The beach just beyond here was used in filming Ryan's daughter.


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